Hearing Voices, Telling Tales: An exploration of the move from page to stage in the work of Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch 1998 - 2018

Wynne-Rhydderch, Samantha (2019) Hearing Voices, Telling Tales: An exploration of the move from page to stage in the work of Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch 1998 - 2018. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

The creative component of this submission of a PhD by Published Works consists of six poetry publications of which I am the sole author: my first pamphlet, Stranded on Ithaca (Bradford: Redbeck, 1998) which was winner of the Redbeck Press 1997 Pamphlet Competition, my first full-length collection, Rockclimbing in Silk (Bridgend: Seren, 2001) for which I was awarded an Arts Council Bursary, my second collection Not in These Shoes (London: Picador, 2008) which was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year, Banjo (London: Picador, 2012) which was shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Poetry Prize, a pamphlet Lime & Winter (Presteigne: Rack Press, 2014) shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award and my newest sequence Ling Di Long (Rack Press, 2018). Also included is a performance piece Tango in Stanzas written after winning an Arts Council Creative Wales Award 2015. The critical component consists of an overview that demonstrates how my twenty years of creative work have both coherence and progression, comprising a substantial and original contribution to contemporary poetry. The essay locates part of this originality in a distinctive approach to embodying presence on the page as well as on the stage, and is in part a response to the way discussions around voice sometimes view the poet’s voice on the page and the poet’s voice on the stage as separate entities. The approach of voice coach Kristin Linklater is used as the lens through which to show how becoming a performer, rather than a reciter of my work, has changed not only the way I give readings, but the way I write. Twenty years ago when my work was first published I composed on the page, now I start from the stage in that I allow my body to have a say in the direction any new poem of mine is taking. One of the questions addressed in this thesis is the relationship of body to voice and how, through inhabiting their body the poet can inhabit the poem, which in turn enables the audience to inhabit the moment of the poem. The role played by space and memory in enabling me to inhabit both places and characters is considered in this discussion. Recent debates behind voice in poetry are analysed so as to identify where my work sits along the spectrum of performance poetry. Examining the work of the theatre director who was one of the influences on Linklater, Konstantin Stanislavsky, and specifically his concern to make something real happen on the stage through speaking with our full range of emotions, I ask how being emotionally open on the stage enables me to be in a place of both vulnerability and power. I argue it is this dynamic between vulnerability and power that allows the audience to empathise with me and the characters I portray, and that it is this which creates presence on the stage. I demonstrate how I have learned to make this dynamic alive back on the page and conclude that the voice on the page has to be as convincing as the voice on the stage in order for audience and reader to experience the presence of a character.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2020 14:08
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2020 14:08
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1220

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